According to The Hollywood Reporter, Andy Yeatman, Director of Global Kids Content, was fired by Netflix for his stance in the allegations of rape against Danny Masterson. Reports state Mr. Yeatman was confronted by one of Masterson’s alleged accusers at a kid’s soccer game back on December 4 where he supposedly stated Netflix takes reports seriously, but “we don’t believe” the accusers. Netflix released a statement that Mr. Yeatman’s comments “were careless, uninformed and do not represent the views of the company.”
The purported confrontation was reported in The Huffington Post which also provided eyewitness accounts. One day after the article was published, Netflix cut ties with Masterson after taking flack for not doing so sooner. The Los Angeles Police Department had begun investigating allegations of sexual assault in March while Netflix opted to provide Masterson’s The Ranch for a 3rd season in July – almost five months later.
Chrissie Carnell Bixler, one of several accusers against Masterson, lead the charge against Netflix after it took quick action against House of Cards star Kevin Spacey. An online petition garnered over 38,000 signatures demanding Masterson to be fired. “We DO matter. We ARE important. We will see justice for what was done to us, and is continuing to be done to us…” Bixler states, “and for all those who knew/know and are either actively helping this serial rapist or are choosing to stay silent … YOU don’t matter.”
Masterson has maintained his innocence and released a statement following his firing: “I am obviously very disappointed in Netflix’s decision to write my character off of The Ranch. From day one, I have denied the outrageous allegations against me. Law enforcement investigated these claims more than 15 years ago and determined them to be without merit. I have never been charged with a crime, let alone convicted of one.”
Yeatman contends he did not realize he was having a conversation with one of the accusers. He went on to release his own comments after being fired by Netflix: “While I was coaching one of my daughter’s soccer games, I was approached by a stranger who asked if I worked at Netflix. She went on to question why we were not canceling a show in which one of the actors was accused of sexual assault. To try and end the conversation and refocus on the soccer game I made a careless and uninformed comment. I did not know that the woman was one of the victims and I deeply regret that I did not have the opportunity to focus on the conversation.
I am proud of Netflix’s values and I condemn sexual violence in the strongest possible terms. I have always believed that victims’ voices should be heard and that every victim should get the justice they deserve. My heart goes out to anyone who has been sexually assaulted or harmed in any way.
I am truly grateful to all the friends, colleagues and members of my community who know me and my family and have reached out to support us during this difficult time. For those who don’t know me and only read the headlines, think about yourself in this situation and how a 30-second conversation on a Sunday morning could change the course of your life.”